KSI: ‘I was struggling to sell tickets to gigs in 2019’

“It’s tons more fake, there is a lot more sly people,” says KSI about the music industry, compared to the planet of YouTube.

The 27-year-old remains getting wont to life as a successful recording artist.

He’s now had six top 10 singles within the UK, alongside a debut album that visited number two.

But despite his success, KSI isn’t getting complacent about his future within the industry.

“If you flop a couple of times, then everyone just quite runs away. Then you are like , ‘oh i assumed I had friends’,” he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“You got to take it with a pinch of salt and not take anything too personally. Because ultimately it is a business. I’m beginning to learn that.”

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It’s a different arena to YouTube, a world which he’s dominated for years.

“With YouTube it is a lot more friendly, everyone’s actually just cool and it isn’t like everyone’s trying to backstab.

“I don’t need to form it sound just like the music industry’s terrible, there’s obviously great parts thereto also .”

KSI working on stage

For KSI – real name Olajide William Olatunji or JJ to friends and family – most of these great parts have are available the last year.

“The annoying thing is I’ve really blown up during lockdown,” he says.

“I haven’t had the prospect to travel to any of those crazy parties as who i’m now, compared to some time past once I was quite a nobody within the music industry.”

It’s not stopped him making friends with some pretty successful artists, including Anne-Marie, Craig David and Yungblud.

The latter features on KSI’s latest single Patience but he says he’s keen to form music by himself.

“That’s also another thing that folks wish to say, that i buy carried by features.”

“I’m excited to try to to a song where it’s just me, no features, and prove that I can get another top 10 alone .”

His ultimate goal may be a favorite single and variety one album.

The YouTuber, turned boxer, turned rapper – who now has over 22 million subscribers on his channel – are going to be playing to thousands of fans on the most stage at Reading and Leeds in August.

It’s the warm up to his tour of the united kingdom and Ireland in October which has already sold out.

But it isn’t been a simple ride. Two years ago, KSI says he was struggling to even sell tickets to his gigs.

During a group of shows in Europe he says, slightly embarrassed, a venue actually had to scale back its capacity and corner off certain areas so it seemed like there have been more people within the crowd.

“There was only 15-20 people there,” he adds. “It was just awkward”.

And then came 2020. Seven UK Top 40 hits and a debut album that only narrowly lost out on top spot to The 1975 – the band’s fourth consecutive favorite album.

So what about 2021?

Well, they’ll be another album, “hopefully in July”.

“There’s a couple of top top-tier American rappers that are getting to get on the album,” he teases.

“I’ve got a couple of top-tier UK artists also . It’s just an honest mix.”

And that’s not all, last month he launched a replacement record label called the web Takeover together with his manager Mams Taylor and he possesses pretty big aspirations for it.

‘Only getting older’
“I want to maneuver like Lil Wayne with Nicki Minaj, Tyga and Drake” he says pertaining to Wayne’s massively successful Young Money record label.

“I want to form an artist bigger than me to the purpose where I can relax and i am still making money”

It’s easy to forget that this 27-year-old has been making a reputation for himself on YouTube for over a decade.

He reached 1,000,000 subscribers in 2012 and dropped out of class to pursue YouTube full time.

“I’m only getting older,” says KSI. “I’m getting to want to calm down and have kids and have a family”.

As for subsequent 10 years?

“I hate this question, because I even have no idea,” KSI says with one among his trademark laughs.

“I didn’t think three years ago I’d be fighting Joe Weller or Logan Paul, or I’d have six top tens under my belt.

“Next year I might be on Mars… we do not know.”KSI: ‘I was struggling to sell tickets to gigs in 2019’

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